On this day in 845, a 5,000-man strong fleet of Danish Vikings invaded Frankish lands. They only retreated after besieging Paris and securing a ransom from the Frankish King Charles the Bald. This was part of a series of devastating raids begun by the Vikings in the 790s.
The Vikings were led by a man named “Reginherus” or Ragnar, sometimes linked to the legendary saga figure Ragnar Lodbrok. The Vikings easily overcame defenses set in place by Charlemagne and are known to have attacked the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés just outside the city. Although struck by an outbreak of plague, the Vikings overcame this to return home with their ransom of 7,000 French livres of gold and silver.
An interesting development: You may have noticed that we now have a new ad for HughesNet Satellite Internet  in our right-hand ad bar. We are now earning commissions whenever anyone sees that ad and signs up to get a HughesNet dish installed. We’ve had one of those here at our ranch for more than three years, and it functions flawlessly, even with skies covered by dark storm clouds. The upload speed is quite good and the download speed is amazingly fast! (25 Mbps.) That is fast enough to stream two movies simultaneously. If you live out in the boonies beyond cable Internet or DSL Internet, you can now have an Internet connection that provides faster download than DSL! (Typically DSL provides 1.5 Mbps to 8 Mbps in the boonies and perhaps 16 Mbps in some towns.) It is compatible with most VPNs, with Skype, with Vonage and with other VOIP phones. You can even use it off grid with no phone line. All you need is stable 120 volt power–such as from a sine wave inverter. Please be sure to mention Tech ID: 0634 when you place your installation order with HughesNet . Many Thanks!
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
Today we present another entry for Round 81 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest . The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator  from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course  (a $1,095 value),
- A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses , excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
- DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper . These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
- Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees  in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
- A $250 gift certificate good for any product  from Sunflower Ammo,
- American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses .
- A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
- A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4  Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
- A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit  from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
- Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord  (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
- An assortment of products along with a one hour consultation  on health and wellness from Pruitt’s Tree Resin (a $265 value).
- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of  Directive 21 (a $275 value),
- A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
- Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners , donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
- Two Super Survival Pack seed collections , a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
- Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances.
Round 81 ends on March 28th, so get busy writing and e-mail  us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.